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Old 11-06-2011, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Lost In Space
Posts: 7,778
Hanging Shutters: Handyman Tips?

I have (decorative) plastic shutters on the front of the house. An overzealous "handyman" friend took the liberty of taking down my shutters to paint them only to get bored with the job and vamoose. I'm at the point where I am ready to install the shutters back on the house.

The hardware store sells "shutter fasteners" which are plastic 2-3" long threaded "screws" where the head lacks a slot for a screwdriver. They are made to push-in by hand. Two hardware stores could not answer my concern: While this may be fine and dandy for the first install, once you've opened a hole, the subsequent use of that hole will not allow an identical fastner (now the same diameter as the hole) to grab. At best, its grab will be severely weakened. I don't want to redo this job in the dead of winter when the wind rips off my shutters! (leaving me with holes the size of quarters, no less!)

How are the shutters supposed to be rehung? If I need wall anchors and screws, what is behind an exterior wall? Note: I have vinyl siding as opposed to masonry, for example. Also note, I am only used to working with sheet rock on interor walls.

I want to do this right the first time, and not make this job any bigger than it has to be.
Old 11-07-2011, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Texas... Need I say more?
Posts: 2,042
There should already be some holes, since the shutters were taken down by your "handyman". Stick a piece of wire in the hole and see if it is clear. If it's not, you may need to 'ream' it out with a drill bit that's a little smaller than the hole, first.

If I had to guess, I would imagine that the holes are going to be either 1/4" or 5/16" in diameter if there is brick or plaster behind the vinyl siding. If it's wood, then there is probably just a screw hole. A little probing should determine which type of material is underneath.

If you must use the existing holes and they are already 'wallowed out', one method (for use with screws) is to 'whittle' a plug from a piece of wood, I usually use an old piece of cedar shingle, it's soft enough to ensure a tight fit and it won't rot. Be sure to leave it slightly oversized and longer than the hole, by an inch or two. Drive it in, then use a wood chisel to 'snap' it off. Start screwing.

If you're going to use a plastic 'push in' type of anchor, (with existing holes) you could always squirt some 'liquid nail' (and a toothpick or two, if necessary) in first to ensure a tight fit, and that they don't back out. One more thing, if you're going to use the liquid nail and push in anchors, take a straw and try to blow out any dust or dirt that may be in there. (Close your eyes!)
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961)

Last edited by JBDivmstr; 11-07-2011 at 12:49 PM. Reason: Forgot something...
Old 11-07-2011, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Northern USA
Posts: 1,943
Some houses, mine for instance don't have anything substantial, sheathed with foam board and then vinyl. Good luck finding a stud.

My shutters are screwed to wood strips that are glued to the vinyl siding. Been that way since 1985 with very few problems.
Old 07-17-2012, 02:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 37,440
Well, the plastic shutters I got long ago had holes predrilled and counter-sunk, and game with plugs you pushed in over a normal screw head. It came with some inadequate screws, but you could use anything you wanted.

So what's under your siding? Something you can screw into directly, or brick or other masonry?

Anyway if not predrilled with plugs, I'd use a stainless or similar, phillips or square drive screw that does the best job of holding the shutter in place, then dab some paint or colored caulk over the screw heads if they looked bad. Also, offset your shutters about 1" away from the window. It sort of highlights the shutter.

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